Cultural Projects History

 In CG Schmidt History, Events, Industry


Projects that are mission-focused, gathering places and demonstrate the aspirations of a community.


Today, our cultural tour begins in the late 1960’s with the Milwaukee County Zoo, a client that was near and dear to Richard Schmidt Sr.’s  heart. The first project CG Schmidt completed was the bear exhibit, which led to us completing many additional projects throughout the Zoo. We have had the opportunity to transform various zoo exhibits, while taking visitors on a journey see the animals in their natural habitats. Not only have we had the opportunity to work with the Milwaukee County Zoo, but we’ve had the opportunity to work at both the Racine Zoo and Vilas Zoo in Madison as well.

Milwaukee County Zoo – Late 1960s

Moving on with our tour, CG Schmidt has had the opportunity to work on various religious and spiritual projects. One of our early projects was the Zion Evangelical & Reformed Church on 76th Street and Ohio in Milwaukee and was a first of its kind by Wenzler Architects. This design involved hyperbolic parabola precast panels, which were unique then and still are today.

Cultural Projects History
Zion Evangelical & Reformed Church – 1959

This project led us to work at UW-Stevens Point on their Fine Arts Center in 1969, a very complex and challenging project for CG Schmidt. Ultimately, we were proud of our success, continuously keeping the owner and client’s best interest at the forefront. According to a newspaper article from that time, it read, “It [UW-Stevens Point Fine Arts Center] has been pointed out as a sample of quality both in design and construction by state building officials. It thoroughly deserves this praise. Talk about skill, integrity, and responsibility.”

UW-Stevens Point Fine Arts Center – 1969

In 2001, we had the honor to work on a project that has formed the Milwaukee skyline, the Milwaukee Art Museum Quadracci & Calatrava addition. This 125,000 SF cast-in-place addition to the existing structure was constructed of concrete, steel and glass. The structure was designed and constructed to serve as a high-profile and widely recognized symbol for the City of Milwaukee. The dramatic design included louvered wings enclosing the reception hall, a restaurant with a 180-degree lake view and double masts anchoring the building and its cabled pedestrian footbridge. World famous architect, Santiago Calatrava said about CG Schmidt, “You have a tradition of industrial manufacturing. This shows you how deeply the building has its roots in this part of the country where manufacturing exists, and how big was my privilege to work in such an exceptional place and my debt to all that manpower.” Santiago Calatrava has worked around the world and recognizes CG Schmidt as one of the best construction firms due to our strong Milwaukee roots as well as our skill and ability to get the work done in a craftsman-like manner.

Cultural Projects History

Not only have we been making strides in the Milwaukee market with our cultural projects, but they can be traced back to Madison for over 40 years, starting with the Yahara Center in 1976. Currently, CG Schmidt is  constructing the  Madison Youth Arts Center (MYAC), a 65,000 SF, multi-level facility that is meant to provide kids in the Madison area an opportunity to engage in arts, dance, music and theater, with a goal to foster the next generation of innovative thinkers and creative minds. MYAC is meant for all students, in hopes of leading Madison and Dane County youths to a bright future individually and also a brighter future for the community as a whole.

CG Schmidt has worked diligently throughout the years to stay true to its values of integrity, excellence and our core value of caring. Our mission statement of “creating exceptional facilities to improve the lives of others” has truly shined through over the last 100 years and we’ve embraced our mission on every single project since then. We are beyond proud of the many cultural projects we’ve been a part of, dedicating our time to serving the underserved and creating positive relationships and community impacts.

Planning a mission-based construction project?
Contact our construction professionals today.

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